Understanding the Cyber.gov Essential 8 Framework

As an MSP for small and medium-sized businesses across Australia, we recognise the critical importance of cybersecurity. In today’s security climate, threats are ever evolving, and businesses of all sizes must be proactive in protecting their assets- especially their data. The Cyber.gov Essential 8 Framework (Essential Eight Maturity Model | Cyber.gov.au) provides a solid foundation for enhancing your security posture. Let’s explore what it involves and how it benefits your business.

Patch Applications

Stay Updated: Patching Your Way to Security

Regularly updating applications is critical to reduce the risk of security breaches; much like locking your doors at night. Vulnerabilities exist in software and cybercriminals do exploit them; by promptly applying patches you close these security gaps, therefore reducing the risk of breaches.

Patch Operating Systems

Securing the Foundation: OS Patching Essentials

Your operating system is the backbone of your digital assets and infrastructure so keeping it up to date with the latest security patches is crucial. Just like maintaining the structural integrity of a building, OS patching ensures stability and resilience.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Double Down on Security: The Power of MFA

MFA adds an extra layer of protection beyond passwords. It requires users to verify their identity through multiple factors (e.g., password + SMS code or fingerprint). By implementing MFA, you significantly reduce the chances of unauthorised access.

Restrict Administrative Privileges

Limiting Access: A Wise Move for Small Businesses

Not everyone needs admin privileges on their computer. By restricting these rights, you minimise/ reduce the impact of any potential insider threats or compromised accounts. Assign administrative access only to those who need it and perform regular reviews of permission levels to ensure staff don’t have more permissions than they need.

Application Control

Taking Charge: Control Your Applications

Application control allows you to whitelist approved software and blacklist unauthorised software. This prevents malicious or unapproved applications from running on your systems. It’s like having a bouncer at the entrance to your software nightclub.

Restrict Microsoft Office Macros

Macro Management: A Must for Office Security

Malicious macros can hide in common macro enabled file types such as .xlsm (Excel) and .docm (Word). Misconfigured macro enabled document security can wreak havoc on your systems and potentially open you to data theft and ransomware. By limiting macros to trusted sources or disabling them altogether, this simple step prevents a common attack vector.

User Application Hardening

Empowering Users: Secure Their Apps

Educating your team on safe practices and encouraging the use of secure settings within applications is essential for your business. Having properly configured software reduces the risk of being susceptible to exploitation. An effective way to limit your online risks would be to reconfigure your default web browser settings by blocking ads, restricting plugins and addons, and blocking of exploitable code such as Flash and Java.

Regular Backups

Backup Bliss: Shielding Your Data

Backups are a critical aspect to your business and are a significant safety net. It is important to regularly back up critical data to prevent any data loss due to ransomware, hardware failures or accidental deletions. Test your backups to ensure they’re reliable.

Multum Tech Is Here to Help

Our team of experts at Multum Tech Brisbane and Sunshine Coast are dedicated to safeguarding your business against modern threats. If you need any assistance to implement these strategies or have any questions about the Essential 8 Framework don’t hesitate to reach out to solutions@multum.com.au or call on 1800 685 886. Stay secure, stay informed, and let us be your cybersecurity partner.

For more information on the Essential Eight Framework, visit the Cyber.gov.au Essential Eight page.1

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